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Hannah Raine Brenner-Leonard
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

ARTIST STATEMENT: Living in the largest city in the United States, itís no wonder I have buildings on the brain. Yet beyond my experiences amid the eccentric urban planning of the Bronx, Brooklynís broad diversity and Manhattanís concrete canyons, the figure of the house has taken on a deeper significance in my work; as a teaching artist, Iíve noticed the omnipresence of the traditional square and triangle icon to designate home, seeing it in use all over the world, from my hometown in upstate New York to Port Elizabeth, Caserta and Brownsville. These factors, combined with an already-acute interest in the concept of home, have resulted in a body of work focused on houses as a recurrent symbol, used to evoke places both real and imagined. In my drawings I use the repetition of a single house - emblematic in some cases, drawn in specific detail in others - to create designs based upon a personal organizational structure. By using repetition in this way, I am able to create work which has a multifaceted sense of meaning and perception, creating playful associations within a mapís rigid lines, changing dramatically whether viewed up close or from a distance. Inspired by the controlled, methodical consistency of Minimalism, this body of work nonetheless proclaims that more is more, as the simple icon of a single house grows into a village, a sloping valley, a cluster of bees, a hole in the ground, a tall mountain, or a roaring gust of wind. These self-directed artworks are completed using a combination of Sumi ink, archival markers, Rives BFK paper, found images and vintage maps. Because I have several intertwined bodies of work developing simultaneously, I am able to work on multiple drawings at a time. In the Iconic Structures and Color Houses series, the stark contrast between opposing shades is highly important to the composition. Recently, in the Reliquary/Relics series, I have used both drawn houses and collaged images together in repetition to further reinterpret the neutral space of the maps, bringing out the dormant concepts signified within them, drawing on impressions of place and memory. All of my artwork is created with patience and sensitivity, transforming a traditional, symbolic, depiction of home and place into something foreign, a reminder that the world should always be considered with fresh eyes.

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